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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Miriam White Campbell

Engineering DraftsmanLos Alamos, NM

Manhattan Project VeteranMilitary Veteran

Miriam White Campbell was an American Army officer.

Campbell was born in 1918 in Indiana. She studied at engineering at Purdue University and at the University of Illinois before dropping out to join the Women’s Army Corps in 1942.

Campbell was assigned to Los Alamos. As she later remembered, “We were told absolutely nothing. We didn’t know where we were going.” Campbell had experience doing engineering drawing for a physics professor during her time at the University of Illinois, and so was assigned to work on mechanical drawings. According to her, “I could draw anything they wanted, and I did.”

Campbell openly worked on her drawings in an office shared by other army officers until Captain Deak Parsons saw her one day. She was soon assigned an office. Campbell also recalled, “I learned very early not to know anything. Security-wise, your life was you did what you had to do. I knew far too much and I knew I knew too much, but I tried not to know anything.” Among Campbell’s assignments were the assembly plans for the “Little Boy” uranium bomb, which was assembled at Tinian Island in the Pacific.

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